Montana Public Radio

Kootenai National Forest

The town of Libby.
courtesy

Highway 37 fire, updated 4:20 p.m. July 20, 2018

A fire near the former vermiculite mine and a section of asbestos-contaminated forest outside Libby is drawing a quick response from crews working to control it.

The Highway 37 Fire, spotted Thursday evening about 4 miles north of Libby, quickly grew to about 50 acres today.

Montana Wildfire Roundup For July 18, 2018

Jul 18, 2018
The Reynolds Lake Fire on the Bitterroot National Forest was discovered July 17, 2018. Its size is currently unknown. More than 50 firefighters and a Very Large Air Tanker have been called in to fight the fire.
Google Maps

Wildfire season has arrived as fire danger ratings are increasing in national forests and wildlands throughout Montana. The Kootenai National Forest moved to "very high" Wednesday, and the Bitterroot National Forest switched to "high" fire danger this morning following the discovery of two lightning-caused fires Tuesday. The Flathead National Forest and surrounding area has also moved their fire danger to “high” this week.

Northern Rockies Observed Fire Danger Class: July 17 2018
National Interagency Fire Center

Fire danger bumped up to “very high” on the Kootenai National Forest  Wednesday. Crews are holding the Zulu Fire, burning about 23 miles north of Libby, to 20 acres.

Kootenai National Forest sign.
Josh Burnham

The Kootenai National Forest is slated to start five salvage timber sales in areas that burned last year, and one more is pending.

The Zulu fire is burning north of Libby in the Zulu Creek area.
Google Maps

The Zulu fire that it is believed lightning started Sunday in the Kootenai National Forest north of Libby expanded to 20 acres today.

Forest spokesman Willie Sykes tells the Flathead Beacon about 80 firefighters and several aircraft are fighting the fire. No structures are threatened.

Montana DNRC helicopter used to fight wildfires.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

The Flathead Beacon is reporting that a 10 acre wildfire started on the Kootenai National Forest Sunday, 23 miles north of Libby, and is still burning Monday.

Reportedly caused by lightning, the Zulu fire doesn’t threaten any structures. At least one helicopter has been dispatched to suppress the flames.

Grizzly bear.
Gregory Smith (CC-BY-SA-2)

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is offering up to $2,000 for information about a grizzly bear shooting death north of Libby. 

Grizzly bear.
Flickr user Nathan Rupert

Montana wildlife officials have captured a sub-adult male grizzly bear near McGregor Lake west of Marion in a culvert trap after it had been spotted frequenting residential areas. 

Morel mushrooms.
Flickr user Ann Althouse (CC-BY-NC-2)

With temperatures on the rise, many Montanans have one thing on their minds: finding that perfect morel. MTPR's Clare Menahan has details about harvesting legally on area national forests.

Last year’s devastating fire season means Western Montana has become a mushroom-picking haven for thousands of local and visiting mushroom pickers.

Skier, file photo.
PD

The Kootenai National Forest is making changes for more accurate avalanche forecasting this winter.

The Kootenai National Forest is splitting its avalanche forecast in two: one report covers the western part of the forest, which shares characteristics with the Idaho Panhandle. A separate forecast is issued for the Whitefish Range, which more closely resembles conditions in the Flathead National Forest.

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